Questions about Your BaptismThree important questions need to be answered about our baptism to be confidant it was valid.
- Was the action of my baptism proper; was I buried in and raised up from a watery grave (see Acts 8:36-38; John 3:5)?
- Was I a proper candidate for baptism; had I been taught the gospel and was I a penitent believer in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19, 20; Mk. 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38)?
- And, did I understand that I was being baptized as a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Rom. 6:3, 4, 17,18), for the remission of all of my past sins, (Acts 2:38 Mk. 16:16) and into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13)?
It is possible for a person's baptism to be invalid. Paul baptized twelve men who had been immersed previously (see Acts 19:1-7) because they had not been properly taught misunderstanding the purpose of their baptism. I have re-baptized some folks who, were baptized while young, came to feel their understanding of the purpose of baptism was inadequate. I have also baptized some who had only been sprinkled earlier, and others who had only been babies when they were "baptized."
When thinking of the validity of his baptism, the following should not be of concern:
- It makes no difference whether a person is baptized in the ocean, a river, pond, or tank; in either running or still water. If a person is immersed in water, the action of his baptism is scriptural. I've known of some to be baptized in a bathtub when better facilities were unavailable. If the person is immersed in water, the action of his baptism is valid.
- It makes no difference who baptized you! My dad, a faithful gospel preacher baptized me and I'm glad of that. However, it would have been valid if I had been baptized by anyone else, even if it were not by a faithful Christian. Who baptizes us cannot be important because we cannot know the heart of another, his faithfulness as a Christian. If he must be a faithful Christian, we would have to trace an unbroken line of faithful "baptizers" back to the first century. If just one person in the "line" were not faithful, then everyone baptized afterwards would have an invalid baptism. Obviously, no one can do this, and the Lord does not require the impossible of us in obeying Him. If one "obeys Christ", the one who does the baptizing is of no consequence to its validity.